THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In the wake of the Kerala government's decision to put on hold the Police Act amendment, State Police Chief Loknath Behera has ordered all district police chiefs and Station House Officers not to take any further action on complaints of cyber attacks under Section 118A. The DGP issued a circular in this regard on Tuesday.
The DGP said the police should not take immediate action on such complaints after the state government put the amendment on hold in the wake of widespread criticism from various quarters.
"If any police personnel received a complaint related to a social media attack, then they should contact the legal cell of police headquarters for initiating further action including registering the case and what charges should be slapped against the accused. If proper instructions are received from the legal cell, then the police can proceed with action," the DGP said in his circular.
Governor Arif Mohammed Khan had signed the Kerala Police Act amendment ordinance, envisaged by the Left government in the state to prevent cyber attacks against women and children which the opposition had alleged would curtail freedom of expression.
The state cabinet, last month, had decided to give more teeth to the Police Act by recommending the addition of Section 118-A. It stipulates either imprisonment for up to three years or a fine of up to Rs 10,000 or both to those who produce, publish or disseminate content through any means of communication with an intention to intimidate, insult or defame any person through social media.
However, widespread criticism over the state government's decisions prompted the government to put the ordinance on hold. The cabinet meeting on Wednesday will discuss the matter.